Postural Control under Altered Sensory Conditions in Children with Cerebral Palsy.

Karla Bustamante, PhD1 , Jason Long, MSc1,2 , Susan Riedel, PhD3 , Sahar Hassani, MS4 , Adam Graf, MS4 , Joe Krzak4 and Gerald Harris, PhD1,2,4
1 Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Engineering Center, Milwaukee, WI
2 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
3 Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI
4 Shriners Hospital for Children, Chicago, IL


Postural control deficits affect children with cerebral palsy (CP). Characterization of postural responses to different environmental conditions is important in better understanding balance deficits and ultimately achieving better treatment. A variety of sway metrics have been analyzed under different conditions but there are no standardized parameters to measure balance. We studied postural control in typically developing children (TD), and children with spastic diplegic (DCP) and hemiplegic CP (HCP) under various sensory conditions using a comprehensive set of measurements complied from the literature. Alterations in postural responses for the sensory conditions tested were found for the three groups tested. The HCP group had reduced sway under vision feedback but not the TD or DCP children. Sway was usually larger when vision was removed. Using different sway metrics can provide improved insight into balance and postural responses.


Postural control, center of pressure, cerebral palsy, hemiplegic, diplegic


This work was funded through awards from The Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Engineering Center (OREC), Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Support was also provided by Shriners Hospital for Children, Chicago, IL.

Author Contact Information

Karla Bustamante, PhD
Marquette University, ASF, Suite 105
Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881
Office Phone: (414) 805-7456, EMAIL: